As the present becomes more fixed in the destructive-ideology of hyper-capitalism, this guide locates places in Southern California where other ideologies have reigned.Utopias of So.Cal. is a free printed map/guide to current and historic utopian communes, colonies, and intentional communities in Southern California. Sited in the guide are collectives founded on ecology, socialism, spirituality, free expression, queer liberation, and feminism. 23 current and historic lebenskunst sites ( a San Diego group committed to facilitating interplanetary dialogue, a LA based community founded on Chicana/o art and consciousness, and a Santa Barbara colony credited with inventing the hot tub and the Renaissance fair). In coordination with the release of this guide, Llano Del RIo is presenting a series of public events (May 28, June 25, July 23rd) in a tree house located by the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
Utopias of So.Cal. contains reflections on the persistence of these colonies in our own utopian consciousnessâ€™Â written by contemporary artists, filmmakers, and writers; Sandra De La Loza, David Frantz, Janet Sarbanes, Mady Schutzman, Jodie Willie and the Womenâ€™s Center For Creative Work (WCCW). This guide, like all Llano Del Rio guides, is free and available to residents of LA county through the mail (send firstname.lastname@example.org your postal address) or around town (listed below). Utopias of So.Cal. was organized and written by the Llano Del Rio Collective with Erin Schneider, print design by Content Object.
Utopias Of So.Cal. Available Here (as soon as we get â€˜em there)!
The tour will depart promptly at 1 pm for its next stop, the Santa Monica Bay Womanâ€™s Club. At the club, riders will enjoy a combination of modern beats and line dances with Griffin Rodriguez and some of his Icy Demons bandmates. The ride will continue to Grant Elementary School for At the Oasis, a unique, site-specific Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre performance that uses a 1966 Oasis trailer as a stage and prop. Finally, riders will return to SMMoA for an exciting raffle, featuring products from Pedego Santa Monica Electric Bicycles and Linus
Bikes, and a brand new bike from Bike Attack. Tour da Arts will be led by certified cyclists from local advocacy organization Cyclists Inciting Change thru Live Exchange (C.I.C.L.E.). Hundreds of cyclists will join in for this celebrated annual tour, which will proceed at a sociable pace and obey all traffic laws.
SMMoA kicked-off Tour da Arts, vol. 5 in June with a â€œBike Critter Art Contest,â€ an opportunity for people of all ages to submit cycling critters. The winning drawing, by David Chernobylsky, was selected by a panel of three professional judgesâ€”illustrator Calef Brown, artist Mel Kadel, and Giant Artists agencyâ€™s Jen Lampingâ€”to serve as the eventâ€™s featured mascot.
Admission is FREE and open to all ages. Registration is required, and space is limited. Register at smmoa.org/tourdaarts.
What to Bring: Basic riding skills and a bicycle in good running order. All participants under the age of 18 must wear a helmet and be escorted by a parent or guardian. Children under the age of 9 should be on a tag-along, bike trailer, tandem, or other safe child-carrying device.
Tour da Arts schedule:
11 am â€“ 1 pm: Tour da Arts, vol. 5 Festival and Check-in at the Santa Monica Museum of Art
Tours of SMMoAâ€™s current exhibitions: Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY, dosa at SMMoA: Exploring Joshua Tree, and Marco Rios: Anatomy of an Absent Artist
Bicycle Advocacy: Learn fun and safe biking tips from Santa Monica SPOKE/Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, LA Metro, City of Santa Monica Transportation, and C.I.C.L.E.
Beat the pump, cycle the town, and enjoy Santa Monica’s sights and sounds. The Santa Monica Museum of Art’s third annualÂ Tour da ArtsÂ bike event invites you to participate in a spoke-card workshop and a scenic ride with stops for music, dance, and art along the way. The ride culminates at SMMoA with theÂ Bicycle Bell EnsembleÂ – a tuneful collaborative performance of bicycle bells.
Register Today!Registration is now open. Activities are open to all ages (some restrictions apply).Â Workshop Admission $5Â (free for SMMoA members); Bike tour and festivities FREE. Space is limited.
Stop 1 – ARTÂ (Noon – 2 pm)Santa Monica Museum of Art art workshop, exhibitions, and mini-festivalÂ
Check-in for the ride. Pre-registration required,Â REGISTER NOW!
The Santa Monica Museum of Art will be hosting two remarkable events this month which pair art making with social action. Â Taking place thisÂ Thursday, June 3, artist Mel Chin will be will make a special visit to SMMoA and participate in one of our signature programs,Â A Collection of Ideasâ€¦, to discuss his projectsÂ Operation PaydirtÂ andÂ The Fundred Dollar Bill Project.Â Â Over the past several years Chin has brought national attention to the serious issue of high lead content in water, particularly in New Orleans, through the collaboration of hundreds of thousands of art participants across the US (more information below). NextÂ Saturday,Â June 12, SMMoA will also be dedicating our quarterly education workshopÂ Cause for CreativityÂ to Chinâ€™s vision. In this workshop participants will have the opportunity to create their ownÂ Fundred Dollar BillsÂ and become part of this country-wide collaborative art project.
Thursday, June 3, 7 pm A Collection of Ideas…Â Mel Chin: So I guess it has to be this way… Refraction, response to crisis, reframing a few dreams, and more on the delivery of a 300 million dollar difference
In 2006, artist Mel Chin was profoundly affected by post-Katrina New Orleans and developed, alongside scientists, an initiative calledÂ Operation PaydirtÂ to help remediate the alarming levels of lead content in the soil there. The estimated cost of treating New Orleans soil is $300,000,000. Chin will discuss theÂ Fundred Dollar Bill ProjectÂ which supportsÂ Operation PaydirtÂ through contemporary art, engagement, and action. TheFundred Dollar Bill ProjectÂ is a way to become involved in monumental advocacy to inspire and enact change through a process of collecting hand-drawnÂ FundredsÂ – $100 bill templates that allow for personal expression. Chin needs 3 millionÂ FundredsÂ by July 2010 when he will go to the steps of Congress and ask for $300 million to fund the soil remediation project in New Orleans and ultimately in all major U.S. cities. SMMoA will host its ownÂ Fundred Dollar Bill Drawing PartyÂ on Saturday, June 12 (see below)
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Saturday, June 12, 2-5 pm Cause for Creativity: Fundred Dollar Bill Drawing Party
Â In collaboration with artist Mel Chin’sÂ Fundred Dollar Bill Project, described above, participants will hand-drawÂ FundredsÂ that will be collected and presented to Congress as a unique testament of civic engagement through art.Â Joining us atÂ Cause for CreativityÂ is Daybreak Designs – an arts and crafts business which empowers homeless women recovering from mental illness to rebuild their lives through creative, personal and financial growth. Daybreak Designs will have lovely hand-made goods for sale during theÂ Fundred Dollar Drawing Party.Â
Joel Shapiro and Justin Yoffe, co-founders of Arts:Earth Partnership
About seventy people gathered on Friday, June 26th at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in Bergamot Station to celebrate the launch of a new organization that uses only one color in its visionary design: green. The kind of green that speaks to fresh foods, verdant forests, sustainable living and a healthy planet.
In the main gallery, several speakers addressed the audience, including Ken Genser Mayor of Santa Monica, Ernest Dillahay, Director of Cultural Facilities for the City of Los Angeles, Justin Yoffe, Cultural Affairs Director for the City of Santa Monica, and Joel Shapiro, Artistic Director of the Electric Lodge in Venice.
They shared their vision to reduce, recycle, reuse and rethink energy in measurable ways that are specific to the cultural community. The mood was leisurely, but the message from behind the podium was passionate: for the creative community to take a leadership role in halting the effects of global warming, we must think and act differently now.
The mechanism to do this is The Arts:Earth Partnership. Not some utopian fantasy, The Arts:Earth Partnership, or AEP, is a collective of cultural leaders, facilities, theaters, museums, dance studios, art galleries, performing arts companies and individual artists committed to achieving environmental sustainability.
AEP co-founder Joel Shapiro told the audience that 25,000 people come to the Electric Lodge each year. The energy of this performing and visual arts space is supplied by solar panels. To rent the space, independent producers are required to have a recycling plan for their sets, and all front of house and off stage lights are energy efficient.
Shapiro said that he and Justin Yoffe, who is the board president of the Lodge, got the idea for AEP when they started to wonder: what if more facilities shared the same philosophy as the Lodge? How many theaters or galleries or performing arts centers would share resources, reduce their own costs and contribute to the health of the planet? How many people would learn about the cost savings and start to make changes at home?
They started doing research seven years ago and found that bloated applications, expensive start up costs and programs that did not meet the needs of cultural organizations made â€˜going greenâ€™ a black hole of despair. They decided to develop a new model, one that would make sense to most non-profit organizations whose daily work is often characterized by stretched dollars, resources and staff.
Shapiro and Yoffe started knocking on doors. The cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica answered and joined with them as AEP founding partners. The City of Los Angeles pledged to convert all of their cultural facilities (30-35) into certified sustainable operations. Santa Monica also connected AEP to their own resource for going green, Sustainable Works, the non-profit organization that, in four years, has helped convert 35 businesses into green companies.
The staff at Sustainable Works trained AEP auditors to conduct energy use assessments at cultural facilities that want to reduce their environmental impact. AEP offers a two-year certification program that includes the assessment, tools, resources and staff support for changing to green technology and practices. Organizations pay a fee for the service and then become members of the collective. Fees are based on the size of the organizationâ€™s operating budget. To attract more organizations of all sizes, both Los Angeles and Santa Monica pledged to pay the first year of the two-year AEP certification fees for the artists and organizations that signed up at the reception to join the collective.
Jan Williamson, Executive Director of the 18th Street Arts Center and AEP advisory board member talks with Joel Shapiro.
Shapiro said that certification requires each member to use at least 25% renewable energy. The Lodge itself is the gold standard, using 100% renewable energy. In the first year, with 30 current members using at least 25% renewable energy, AEP will reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 50 tons. Thatâ€™s roughly equivalent to the annual output of 7 households of 4 adults each. It may not sound like much, but the more organizations and artists join, the more CO2 emissions will drop, the more the creative community can help tip planetary scales back towards balance and inspire others to do the same. Indeed, itâ€™s working already as 25 artists and 25 cultural organizations signed up on Friday.
AEP will track the progress of certified members, as they change from wasteful to efficient energy use and then publish its findings in an annual report. AEP plans to hold annual â€˜convergencesâ€™ so that cultural leaders can learn from each other by sharing stories, news and information. On their website, AEP also offers a materials exchange board, a resource especially suited to theatres and galleries that rotate sets and exhibitions and frequently use production materials.
After the speeches, small groups hovered near the podium, eager to continue the conversation. The rest of the crowd took in the exhibition of Barkley Hendrickâ€™s bold life-sized portraits, or wandered out into the warm evening air and over to the literature table and makeshift bar. Next to the bar was a sporty car that had been turned into a planter, with succulents and cacti bursting from its windows, trunk and hood. If you can envision a world where abandoned cars are ideal places for gardens, then AEP is an organization that needs your energy (renewable, of course) and commitment to paint the world green.